Apple's iBeacon

 



1:   OverView :

 

Introduced in iOS 7, iBeacon is an exciting technology enabling new location awareness possibilities for apps. Leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a device with iBeacon technology can be used to establish a region around an object. This allows an iOS device to determine when it has entered or left the region, along with an estimation of proximity to a beacon . There are both hardware and software components to consider when using iBeacon technology, and this document will give an introduction to both, along with suggested uses and best practices to help ensure a highly effective deployment leading to an outstanding user experience.

iBeacon has 3 different audiences. You may fall into one, two, or possibly all three of these categories, depending on your role.

1. App Developers :

            If you want to add new location awareness to your application, you would use the CoreLocation APIs in iOS to be notified when the iOS device has moved into or out of a beacon region. You can also determine approximate proximities to a device generating iBeacon advertisements. Everything you need to get started is included in the iOS SDK, no additional license is required.

2. People Deploying Devices With iBeacon Technology :

Whether you manage a sports arena, a museum, a retail store, or any of the myriad other physical locations where beacons could be employed, you need to be aware of how these

devices work, issues surrounding signal strength and materials, and understand how to calibrate and test your deployment. If you are interested in using the iBeacon Logo on

signage at a venue, but will not make devices with iBeacon technology, you will need to obtain an iBeacon logo license before using the iBeacon logo.

*** Please visit https://

developer.apple.com/ibeacon/ to apply for a license to use the iBeacon logo.

 

3. People Making Devices With iBeacon Technology :

            If you are interested in manufacturing devices with iBeacon technology, you will need to obtain a license before building these devices. Please visit https://developer.apple.com/

ibeacon/ to apply for an iBeacon license. Licensees receive access to technical specifications, a license to use the iBeacon logo, and the iBeacon Identity Guidelines.

 

*  Devices with iBeacon Technology

Devices with iBeacon technology can be powered using coin cell batteries for a month or longer, or operate for months at a time using larger batteries, or can be powered externally for

extended periods of time. iOS devices can also be configured to generate iBeacon advertisements, although this functionality is limited in scope. This would be appropriate for uses such as a Point Of Sale or kiosk application, or for an application that wants to become an iBeacon for a short time while someone is actively using the application.

 

2: Introduction

 

 

            2.1 : What is iBeacon ?

 

                        Sometimes the biggest changes in technology have the smallest beginnings. In the summer of 2013, Apple announced iBeacon, a nerdy-sounding feature of its new operating system that would "provide apps a whole new level of location awareness". 

            It''''''''s a new technology developed by Apple, built into its operating systems and devices since 2013, and it may "change the world forever", according to the Washington Post. 

The technology lets businesses set up transmitters which can tell nearby smartphones of their presence. It may not sound like much, but combined with the right software, it opens up a massive number of possibilities.

                        A beacon is a small wireless device that constantly broadcasts radio signals to nearby smart phones and tablets. Think of it as a lighthouse emitting light in regular intervals. Mobile apps can listen for that signal and react in some way, effectively triggering a location-based action in the app.

 

            A beacon is a small wireless device that constantly broadcasts radio signals to nearby smart phones and tablets. Think of it as a lighthouse emitting light in regular intervals. Mobile apps can listen for that signal and react in some way, effectively triggering a location-based action in the app.

iBeacon is Apple''''''''s implementation of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to iPhones and other iOS devices. iBeacon arrived in iOS7, which means it works with iPhone 4s or later, iPad (third generation and onwards) iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation or later). It''''''''s worth noting the same BLE technology is also compatible with Android 4.3. and above.

iBeacon is Apple’s version of the Bluetooth-based beacon concept, which allows Bluetooth devices to broadcast and receive tiny information within short distances. In simplistic words, it consists of two parts: a broadcaster (beacon device) and a receiver (smartphone app). The broadcaster is always advertising “I am here, and my name is…”, while the receiver detects these beacons and do whatever it needs to do based on how close or far it is from them.

ibeacon is created to enable your phone todo things when you are close to a specific location.

iBeacons is a brand name created by Apple for a specific technology. That technology allows mobile apps to recognise when an iPhone is near a small wireless sensor called a beacon (or iBeacons, as well). The beacon can transmit data to an iPhone - and visa versa - using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). iBeacon is a feature in iOS 7, thus Apple''''''''s new iPhones will have iBeacon.

 

3: Functions :

 

An iBeacon deployment consists of one or more iBeacon devices that transmit their own unique identification number to the local area. Software on a receiving device may then look up the iBeacon and perform various functions, such as notifying the user. Receiving devices can also connect to the iBeacons to retrieve values from iBeacon''''''''s GATT (generic attribute profile) service. iBeacons do not push notifications to receiving devices (other than their own identity). However, mobile software can use signals received from iBeacons to trigger their own push notifications.[13]

 

1 : Region monitoring :

Region monitoring is limited to 20 regions and can function in the background (of the listening device) and has different delegates to notify listening app (and user) of entry/exit in the region - even if app is in the background or phone is locked. Region monitoring also allows for a small window in which iOS gives a closed app an opportunity to react to the entry of a region.

 

2: Ranging :

Ranging works only in the foreground but will return (to the listening device) an array (unlimited) of all iBeacons found along with their properties (UUID, etc.)

An iOS device receiving an iBeacon transmission can approximate the distance from the iBeacon. The distance (between transmitting iBeacon and receiving device) is categorised into 3 distinct ranges:[15]

 

Immediate: Within a few centimeters

Near: Within a couple of meters

Far: Greater than 10 meters away

 

 

 

An iBeacon broadcast has the ability to approximate when a user has entered, exited, or lingered in region. Depending on a customer''''''''s proximity to a beacon, they are able to receive different levels of interaction at each of these three ranges.[16]

 

The maximum range of an iBeacon transmission will depend on the location and placement, obstructions in the environment and where the device is being stored (e.g. in a leather handbag or with a thick case). Standard beacons have an approximate range of 70 meters. Long range beacons can reach up to 450 meters.

 

3 : Settings :

The frequency of the iBeacon transmission depends on the configuration of the iBeacon and can be altered using device specific methods. Both the rate and the transmit power have an effect on the iBeacon battery life. iBeacons come with predefined settings and several of them can be changed by the developer. Amongst others the rate and the transmit power can be changed as well as the Major and Minor values. The Major and Minor values are settings which can be used if you want to connect to specific iBeacons or if you want to work with more than one iBeacon at the same time. Typically, multiple iBeacon deployment at a venue will share the same UUID, and use the major and minor pairs to segment and distinguish subspaces within the venue. You can for example set the Major values of all the iBeacons in a specific store to the same value and use the Minor value to identify a specific iBeacon within the store.

 

4 : Power consumption :

 

Comparison of 16 major beacon hardware of battery life in months (higher is better) by Aislelabs'''''''' The Hitchickers Guide to iBeacon Hardware[17]

The Bluetooth LE protocol is significantly more power efficient than Bluetooth Classic. Several chipsets makers, including Texas Instruments and Nordic Semiconductor now supply chipsets optimized for iBeacon use. Power consumption depends on iBeacon configuration parameters of advertising interval and transmit power. A study on 16 different iBeacon vendors reports that battery life can range between 1–24 months. Apple''''''''s recommended setting of 100ms advertising interval with a coin cell battery provides for 1–3 months of life, which increases to 2–3 years as advertising interval is increased to 900ms.[18]

 

Battery consumption of the phones is a factor that must be taken into account when deploying beacon enabled apps. A recent report has shown that older phones tend to draw more battery in the vicinity of iBeacons, while the newer phones can be more efficient in the same environment.[19] In addition to the time spent by the phone scanning, number of scans and number of beacons in the vicinity are also significant factors for battery drain, as pointed out by the Aislelabs report.[20] In a follow up report, Aislelabs found a drastic improvement in battery consumption for iPhone5S, iPhone 5C versus the older model iPhone 4S. At 10 surrounding iBeacons, iPhone 4S can consume up to 11% of battery per hour whereas iPhone5S consumes a little less than 5% battery per hour. [21] An energy efficient iBeacon application needs to consider these aspects in order to strike a good balance between app responsiveness and battery consumption.

 

 

 

4 : Key point of iBeacon :

 

4.1:  Why Apple created iBeacon ? :

 

  • first shopping purpse that make easier for consumer to shop.

 

shopping is not like earlier.it means that in traditional shoping ,while wwe going for purchase product,we have to see and get information printed on that product,while nowadays scenarrio is change,that using ibeacon mechanism, it provide all information on your smartphone that is provided by beacon related to it.

 

most instereting factor in ibeacon is that it also provide payable mechanism through ibeacon.

 

it means that while we going to purchase product ,all procedure that we have to do mannually,it all can be done throgh your smart phone that using ibeacon.

so we dontt need for physical cash.we have to pay using digital cash like net banking,debit credit card payment or any more...

 

  • Easy  To share information to number of people :

 

2: Why is iBeacon such a big deal?

 

The technology could be a big step towards mobile payments, something smartphone makers have been looking at for a long time without getting it right. Running the technology which breaks through and becomes the standard is going to be very lucrative. As such iBeacon is not the only game in town - PayPal is working on its own ''''''''PayPal Beacon'''''''' technology - expected next year - which will allow shoppers to ''''''''check-in'''''''' and pay for goods from the PayPal account on their phone. Near Field Communications (NFC) is another technology trying to find an niche (right now with limited to success) in mobile payments, plus plenty of others.

 

Depending on how iBeacon evolves and is adopted it could form an important part of Apple''''''''s ecommerce and mobile payments effort. For example, the combination of iBeacon and Passbook could allow you to get sent a coupon while in a store and buy something without ever seeing a member of staff. Equally, shoppers may find the whole thing slightly unnerving and ignore it altogether.

 

 

3: Does iBeacon mean I''''''''ll be bombarded with ads wherever I go?

 

That rather depends on how many apps you have. The beacons themselves won''''''''t do much unless you have the corresponding app downloaded to your iOS device, so you should be able to browse in relative peace. Also, iOS doesn''''''''t deliver region notifications until certain threshold conditions are met – Apple''''''''s developer notes state the device has to cross an iBeacon boundary, move away from the boundary by a minimum distance, and remain at that minimum distance for at least 20 seconds before the notifications are reported.

 

That should reduce the pesting at least a bit. But there is certainly a risk of fatigue if you''''''''re being hassled all the way around the mall.

 

4 : What real world iBeacon examples are there?

 

It''''''''s early days for iBeacon – Apple has only been testing it since December last year in its US retail stores . Virgin Atlantic is also conducting trial of iBeacon at Heathrow airport , so that passengers heading towards the security checkpoint will find their phone automatically pulling up their mobile boarding pass ready for inspection. In the London area retail giant Tesco has been testing it in a store, as is Waitrose, while Regents Street is working with retailers to test the technology too.

 

 


4:  Compatible Device with iBeacon :

 

iBeacon is a new technology that extends Location Services in iOS. Your iOS device can alert apps when you approach or leave a location with an iBeacon. In addition to monitoring location, an app can estimate your proximity to an iBeacon (for example, a display or checkout counter in a retail store). Instead of using latitude and longitude to define the location, iBeacon uses a Bluetooth low energy signal, which iOS devices detect. To learn more about Bluetooth technology, see the official Bluetooth website.

 

Compatible devices :

iOS devices with Bluetooth 4.0 (iPhone 4S and later, iPad (3rd generation) and later, iPad Mini (1st generation) and later, iPod Touch (5th generation).[29][30]

Macintosh computers with OS X Mavericks (10.9) and Bluetooth 4.0[citation needed]

Android 4.3+ (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S4 Mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 2/3, HTC One, Google/LG Nexus 7 2013 version/Nexus 4/Nexus 5, HTC Butterfly, OnePlus One)

Windows Phone devices with the Lumia Cyan update or above. (reports suggest support is not included with Windows Phone 8.1)[citation needed]

 

 

To use iBeacon, you need iOS 7 or later, Bluetooth turned on, and a compatible iOS device:

 

iPhone 4s or later

iPad (3rd generation) or later

iPad mini or later

iPod touch (5th generation) or later

 

 

 

 

6:  Working :

 

            1 : Bluetooth Low Energy :

                        Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth LE, BLE, marketed as Bluetooth Smart) is a wireless personal area network technology designed and marketed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group aimed at novel applications in the healthcare, fitness, beacons, security, and home entertainment industries. Compared to Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range.

 

Bluetooth Smart was originally introduced under the name Wibree by Nokia in 2006. It was merged into the main Bluetooth standard in 2010 with the adoption of the Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0.

 

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a new Bluetooth “flavor” offered within the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. For a device (be it an iPhone or desktop computer) to be able to enjoy this new Bluetooth flavor, it needs to be equipped with a more recent Bluetooth chip that is compatible with the 4.0 version of the Bluetooth standard.

 

Originally, Bluetooth Low Energy was invented by Nokia back in 2006 under the name of “Wibree”. Before Wibree got popular and became available to the masses, Nokia decided to transfer its low power technology to BSIG (Bluetooth Special Interest Group), which controls and standardizes the Bluetooth technology. After being incorporated by the BSIG, the technology was renamed to “Bluetooth Smart”, which is the commercial name of the “flavor” and it is the same as Bluetooth Low Energy, which is the technical name. Bluetooth Smart (or BLE) is only compatible and available on devices that are compatible with the 4.0 version of the Bluetooth Standard.

 

As the name says, Bluetooth Low Energy is a Bluetooth mode that can be used when pairing with low energy devices, such as cardio monitors, temperature monitors, iBeacons, smart watches and so on. It doesn’t mean that every time you connect to a device via Bluetooth you’re necessarily using BLE. A wireless Bluetooth speaker for example will not use Bluetooth Smart/Low Energy to receive data stream from your computer or smartphone. Also, every time you connect to a BLE device, such as a wearable monitor, it doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily using iBeacons. Most probably, you will be not.

 

The major difference between the common Bluetooth protocol and BLE is that minimum energy is required for two devices to broadcast or detect BLE transmissions. Because low energy is the focus, the kind of data/information sent by these devices is also minimum, slim and very slow. That being said, a BLE device is not supposed to transfer audio, video or support any kind of application that requires high bandwidth or large amounts of data.

 

Mobile operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, as well as OS X, Linux, and Windows 8, natively support Bluetooth Smart. The Bluetooth SIG predicts more than 90 percent of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones will support Bluetooth Smart by 2018.

it''''''''s important to first be familiar with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Bluetooth Low Energy is a network technology used to transmit data over short distances.

 

BLE communication comprises of small packets of data which are broadcast at regular intervals through radio waves. BLE broadcasting is a one-way communication method; it simply sends its packets of data.

 

These packets of data can then be picked up by smart devices nearby, which can be used for a number of applications to trigger events such as prompts, push notifications, and app actions.

 

 

The Bluetooth LE protocol is significantly more power efficient than Bluetooth Classic. Several chipsets makers, including Texas Instruments and Nordic Semiconductor now supply chipsets optimized for iBeacon use. Power consumption depends on iBeacon configuration parameters of advertising interval and transmit power. A study on 16 different iBeacon vendors reports that battery life can range between 1–24 months. Apple''''''''s recommended setting of 100ms advertising interval with a coin cell battery provides for 1–3 months of life, which increases to 2–3 years as advertising interval is increased to 900ms.[18]

 

Battery consumption of the phones is a factor that must be taken into account when deploying beacon enabled apps. A recent report has shown that older phones tend to draw more battery in the vicinity of iBeacons, while the newer phones can be more efficient in the same environment.[19] In addition to the time spent by the phone scanning, number of scans and number of beacons in the vicinity are also significant factors for battery drain, as pointed out by the Aislelabs report.[20] In a follow up report, Aislelabs found a drastic improvement in battery consumption for iPhone5S, iPhone 5C versus the older model iPhone 4S. At 10 surrounding iBeacons, iPhone 4S can consume up to 11% of battery per hour whereas iPhone5S consumes a little less than 5% battery per hour. [21] An energy efficient iBeacon application needs to consider these aspects in order to strike a good balance between app responsiveness and battery consumption.

 

BLE communication comprises of advertisements of small packets of data which are broadcast at regular intervals through radio waves. BLE broadcasting is a one-way communication method; it simply advertises its packets of data.

 

These packets of data can then be picked up by smart devices nearby, which can be used for a number of applications to trigger events such as prompts, push notifications, and app actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • How Actually works ?

 

Apple has standardized the format of iBeacon BLE advertising. An iBeacon''''''''s advertising packet is made up of 3 components:

 

Universally Unique Identifier:

 The UUID comes in a 16 byte string format that distinguishes a company''''''''s beacons from others. For example, if Nike has a network of beacons across its chain of retail stores, all of Nike''''''''s beacons would share the same UUID. This allows Nike''''''''s app to know which advertisements come from Nike-owned beacons.

Major value:

 Major values come as a 2 byte string and is used to specify a beacon within a group. If Nike deploys 20 beacons in its store in San Francisco, all of those beacons would have the same major value. The major value essentially allows Nike to know which store their customers are in.

Minor value:

 Minor values also come as a 2 byte string and is used to identify specific beacons. A beacon at Nike''''''''s storefront and at the men''''''''s shoe section would both have its own unique minor value.

At a minimum, businesses are required to input UUID details when programming beacons. Major and minor values are optional.

 

Measuring Distance and Range

Transmitter Power (txPower): The txPower is used to determine how close a device is to a beacon. It is the strength of the signal 1 meter from the device. With this, a rough estimate of the device''''''''s proximity to the beacon is given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beacon has 3 approximate ranges:

 

Immediate: a few centimeters

Near: a few meters

Far: approximately 10 meters

A beacon''''''''s range is affected by many obstacles such as walls, furniture, or people. All of these can weaken a beacon''''''''s signal, which is why the measured distance is a rough estimate.

 

Businesses can deliver different contextually relevant interactions to customers when customers are in immediate range of a beacon, near a beacon, or far from a beacon.

 

Proximity based services with iBeacon is now possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**  Basic Example

7       : Advantage   :

 

1 : “Smartphones are changing the in-store experience, and winning the key decision moments at the physical shelves means owning the digital shelves too”

                        Smartphones have become constant shopping companions – with 84% of mobile shoppers now using their phones to help with shopping in physical stores. M.A.R.C. Research with the Google Shopper Council found that “shoppers who use mobile more actually spend more in store”

 

Smartphones are transforming the retail experience

Across all categories of retailing 79% of Smartphone owners are using their phones in store. The prime uses are:

 

Price comparison (53%)

Finding offers and promotions (39%)

Finding locations of other stores (36%)

Finding hours (35%)

 

Shoppers who use mobile more, spend more in store

 

 

 

 

2:  ibeacon is not restricted to apple device ,other company provide ibeacon according to their company like android also support   ibeacon but android version must be above 4.3

 

 

 

3:   There can be more than one beacon in single environment or un mall like in mall there can be more than one department so there can be multiple beacon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 : The big differentiator from NFC is essentially range.

NFC range is up to 20 cm (7.87 inches) but the optimal range is less than 4 cm (1.57 inches). iBeacons have up to 50 m range

 

 

 

 

8       : Disadvantage :

 

1 : The first barrier is Bluetooth. I believe that the biggest barrier here is that Bluetooth needs to be on in order for the process to take place

 

With battery being a very substantial problem of all smartphones, not all users will leave Bluetooth open at all times. Personally I don’t and never will unless there is a specific task that requires Bluetooth to be open (i.e. syncing data or tethering).

 

 

 

2: In fact users will have to carry on their phone an app that uses iBeacons to be able to receive data. That also means that you will need to opt-in in order to receive information.

 

 

 

 

3 : A Third problem is privacy. On the small print of Apple’s support page for the iBeacon there is enough legalese to be concerned. Essentially when you opt-in, or let an application use your micro-location you are essentially agreeing to the application terms, privacy policy and practice. That means giving your information away and giving a lot of trust to the app provider.

 

 

 

 

4: The third issue is push notifications. You are walking into the aisle of your fav grocery store and all of a sudden you hear your phone buzzing. It’s not an SMS from your pal, but the iBeacon telling you throughout the store app there is a special offer on cabbage.

 

 

 

5 : the big differnece between iphone app and aandroid app is that  in iphone aapp,to recieve thee data from beacon,we do not require to open the app.it automaticaally open app and generate notification.

while in android app,you need to keep open the app if you want to receive data from beacon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 : Think of beacons as a technology that empowers contextualization based on proximity. With that in mind, see the examples below.

 

1 : Resources Tracking :

            Restaurants all over the world have shown us how useful mobile technologies are: PDA-equipped waitresses don’t have to rush to the kitchen in order to dispatch orders. In other cases, clients can directly make them using a tablet available at the table.

 

With pre-beacon technology, mobile apps running on waiters’ PDAs require the user to select the table number every time he or she takes an order. With beacons, the app automatically knows which table the waiter is at. It displays the name of the client (and eventual dinning/preferences history), and automatically associates the order being made to the table in context, without requiring the waiter to manually select the table number.

 

Business owners can digest analytics data showing which tables (or serving which clients) specific employees stayed more time/compared to client’s satisfaction, and it is even possible to somehow understand and analyze the employees‘ most common paths, least visited/shadow areas and improve efficiency. The same concept can be adapted to a myriad of business kinds: from logistics to hotels and hospitals.

 

2 : Classroom & Education :

The iBeacon platform offers a wide range or applications that can be applied on an educational context. From simple games that require students to move around, explore and find things to more scientifc or technical experiments in the classroom, iBeacon is a great tool to stimulate young minds and drive curiosity towards subjects like geography, context, automation, logic and technology. A great source of examples and experience in how iBeacons can be applied in classrooms is Jonathan Nalder''''''''s JNXYZ/Beacons for Education website: http://www.jnxyztraining.net/beaconsforeducation/

 

3 : The Zoo App :

Imagine a Zoo mobile app, which visitors open once they get into the park. When they are close to selected attractions, the app fires a notification/image/video with information of what is being looked at. It can tell visitors: “Give some peanuts to the monkey now and watch your arm disappear in 1 second”.

 

4 : Smart Sushi :

You''''''''ve probably seen sushi joints that use conveyor belts to move sushi in front of you. Now, imagine if each of those plates have a small sensor sticked under them. With the restaurant''''''''s app opened, hugry customers can see detailed information about what''''''''s in front of them, including price, nutrition information, ingredients, origin of the fish and much more. By clicking a ''''''''I got it'''''''' button, patrons can also keep track of their current bill without worrying about dish color codes normally used in conveyor belts joints.

 

 

 

 

 

5 :Retail Shop Experience :

Clients can receive instant and limited offers as they walk inside the store or grocery shop. The store app can even trigger remote events, such as blinking lights inside a fridge to get the person’s attention when he/she walks close.

 

6 :Automation :

All kinds of automation, be it home, commercial or industrial, are directly related to what beacons can offer. From your garage door that opens once your car stops by (without pressing any button) to lights that go on and off as you need them to be. Automated Home http://www.automatedhome.co.uk is a great source of home automation-related news and information since 1996.

 

 

7 : Loyalty Programs :

NFC technology does not offer the range of possibilities that Bluetooth does and iBeacons can be used to do something very similar to what NFC does. When adjusted to be ranged within very short distances, iBeacons can be deployed to allow communication between stationary beacons and loyalty program apps. In a more advanced scenario, both the app and the stationary sensor can perform passive (listener) and active (broadcaster) actions, allowing short-range, two-way communication between the app and the iBeacon sensor.

 

 

 

 

 

10 : References :

         

          1 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBeacon :

 

          2: http://estimote.com/ :

 

          3 : https://passkit.com/how-ibeacon-works/ :

 

4 : http://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-apple-    ibeacon-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

 

5 : http://www.ibeacon.com/what-is-ibeacon-a-guide-to-beacons/

 

 

 

 


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